Musculoskeletal disorders Guidance

Online tool promotes safe material handling

Montreal – Scientific research organization IRSST has released a free online resource intended to help identify workplace musculoskeletal disorder risks and avoid injuries related to material handling.

Manual material handling is widespread, IRSST researchers said in a press release, and it accounts for almost 30 percent of occupational injuries compensated in Canada.

The support tool includes five worksheets that focus on the following objectives:

  • Identify: Where are the problems or risks?
  • Set priorities: Where are the most important places to intervene?
  • Understand: What must be known about the selected situations?
  • Transform: What targeted areas can be improved?
  • Train: What must be known to plan training?

The resource recommends forming a working committee to help implement material handling changes and training. Suggested members of the committee include members of the health and safety committee, foremen, and several handlers – some novice and some experienced.